What is the Best Door/Window Sensor for the VISTA 21iP?

There is no true "best" door and window sensor for the VISTA 21iP. The best sensor is subjective, and it will depend upon the needs of the end user. The user must decide whether they want a hardwired or wireless contact. They will also choose between recessed and surface-mounted sensors.

A door and window sensor is a security device that is used to let the end user know when a door or window has been opened.This type of device usually consists of a sensor and a magnet. In most installations, the sensor is placed on the frame of the door or window, and the magnet is placed on the moving part of the structure within about a half an inch of the sensor. Whenever the door or window is opened, the magnet will separate from the sensor, thereby activating the sensor's internal reed switch. This will send a signal to the system to perform a pre-programmed response, also known as a Response or Zone Type. Some common responses for door and window contacts include sending a signal to a central monitoring station, sounding a siren or activating a Z-Wave scene.

There are two primary considerations that should be made when deciding on a door and window contact for a VISTA 21iP. The first is whether the sensor will be hardwired or wireless. A hardwired contact will need to have a wire run from the sensor to the panel, while a wireless sensor can connect with the system wirelessly. A hardwired sensor will never require a battery replacement, but it can be inconvenient to run a wire from the contact to the panel. A wireless sensor is easier to install and program, but battery replacements will be necessary every few years. Please note that to use a wireless sensor, a wireless receiver will be needed, such as the Honeywell 6160RF Keypad.

A user will also need to decide whether they want the sensor to be surface-mounted or recessed. A surface-mounted sensor will simply be placed on the exterior of the door or window. This type of sensor is easy to install, but it will be visible once mounted to the door or window. A recessed sensor is inserted inside a hole that is drilled into the door or window. This type of sensor can be more aesthetically pleasing, but it is usually more difficult to install than a surface-mounted sensor. With some new doors or windows, drilling holes may be discouraged, due to the door or window's warranty.

Putting these four categories together, there are four main types of door and window sensors. These are wireless surface-mounted, wireless recessed, hardwired surface-mounted and hardwired recessed. Listed below is a great sensor of each type:

Wireless Surface-Mounted: Honeywell 5800MINI

Wireless Recessed: Honeywell 5818MNL

Hardwired Surface-Mounted: Honeywell 940

Hardwired Recessed: Honeywell 951WG

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